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Let’s Review 20: Pavanes & Tarantellas

“We are more polarized now”€ is a cliche. But it’s true, and it didn’€™t just happen — €”it’€™s been building and building for at least two decades (and almost certainly longer that that). I would add that we are more cynical now, more conspiracy-minded, more disgusted with institutions that used to be more admired: the press, Congress, the FBI, and the ”establishment”€ of both parties. The entire system by which party leaders came up through the ranks and were at least somewhat respected is broken; the electorate isn’€™t buying it, for the most part. Outsiders and/or charismatic extremists are elected, and then they are found wanting and the pendulum swings to someone seen as an outsider and/or charismatic extremist on the other side. — The similarities between Obama and Trump

 Without having intended or set out to do so, I seem to have accumulated a vast number of possessions, 99 percent of which I do not really need and probably never needed, and which now seem like a ball and chain to me. I have far too many plates, socks, mugs, pens, rubbers, saucepans, ties, knives and forks, glasses, shoes, ornaments, lamps, towels, pencil sharpeners, bowls, belts, wastepaper baskets, maps, chairs, cushions, sheets and pillows, pullovers, tablecloths, casserole dishes, scarves, hats, attaché cases, gloves, bottles of ink, rugs, adapter plugs, duvet covers, soap dishes, visiting cards, photograph albums, vases, old medical journals, hangers, spoons, jugs, buckets, and sports jackets, to name but a few of my superfluities. What a nightmare they will all be to my heirs and assigns! Theodore Dalyrmple

It is true that my hotel had security guards outside it with automatic weapons and I was asked to identify myself as I entered; but I gathered that a Syrian delegation of one criminal gang or other was staying there for negotiations with other Syrian criminal gangs who were staying elsewhere in the city. In a noble display of multicultural sensibility, all charcuterie had been removed from the breakfast buffet, lest the presence of pork offend the Syrian murderers, and replaced by something called turkey ham. Surely it should not have been called ham, but smoked turkey? The very word might have upset the delicate constitutions of the Syrians, in a way that no amount of bombardment, killing, torture, etc. could have done. Skip the Ads – Taki’s Magazine

  If McConnell is such a serious power player—a real leader of strategic forethought and decisiveness—how come his legislative agenda is stalled and his party is losing? Like an idiot savant who knows many details of one, specific subject (but is unaware of his overall imbecility), McConnell keeps plugging ahead in politics, achieving many stated and very small objectives, but all of them seem unrelated to any discernible strategy for Republicans. From the outside, it sure looks like his job is to lose. Mitch McConnell, Suuuuuuuper Genius  

Germans

It is tempting to think that the people on the blank slate side of the river know the truth, but they just prefer to carry on with the blank slate fantasy. In individual cases, that may be true, but a lot of people truly believe that all people are the same everywhere, despite the mountain of evidence to contrary. Instead of reality causing doubts in their beliefs, they do like Acemoglu and Robinson. They invest all of their time and energy looking for the magic cause that explains reality, without contradicting the blank slate. “World inequality exists because during the 19th and 20th century some nations were able to take advantage of the Industrial Revolution and the technologies and methods of organization that it brought, while others were unable to do so.” The implication of this is that the Industrial Revolution just happened by magic in England, instead of Botswana. The best they can muster is to point out that the English Civil War accelerated the end of feudalism in England, compared to the Continent. The River’s Edge  

 Towards Christmas, if perhaps Advent is observed, the Gift comes irresistibly into view. It is nothing like a box with ribbons; nothing like a package with a present inside. Nothing in the womb of Our Lady is reducible to “an item” like that. It is Gift in the absolute, as our own lives are absolute Gift: a totality that cannot be reduced to pieces. It is a mysterious Event, that transcends events. We can only pretend to accept it or reject it, for it simply and immortally IS. The laughter of hope

  The quality of what we called the student “clientele” had deteriorated so dramatically over the years that the classroom struck me as a barn full of ruminants and the curriculum as a stack of winter ensilage.  I knew I could not teach James Joyce’s Ulysses or Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain since they were plainly beyond the capacity of our catechumens – mind you, all old enough to vote and be drafted.  The level of interest in and attention to the subjects was about as flat as a fallen arch.  The ability to write a coherent English sentence was practically nonexistent; ordinary grammar was a traumatic ordeal.  In fact, many native English-speakers could not produce a lucid verbal analysis of a text, let alone carry on an intelligible conversation, and some were even unable to properly pronounce common English words. Why I Quit Teaching 

  President Trump’s speech, and the nearly 60-page document that lays out his administration’s strategy in detail, is a model of moral clarity and forthright Realpolitik. It is appropriate that the speech was delivered in the Reagan building. Just as Reagan had the courage to describe the Soviet Union accurately, as an “evil empire,” so President Trump’s America First strategy distinguishes sharply between “those who value human dignity and freedom and those who oppress individuals and enforce uniformity.” He explicitly places China, Russia, and North Korea, along with jihadi terrorists and “transnational criminal organizations” in the latter category. Trump’s Doctrine: ‘Principled Realism’ Comes to the Fore

The haunting began on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, when we released an 11-year-old Access Hollywood tape, in which the merry bachelor Trump was recorded bragging about his status as a celebrity, which was why beautiful women in the industry allowed him to kiss them and “grab them by the pussy.” Designed to destroy Trump, this October surprise barely made a dent. We followed it up with a massive media campaign, in which the P-word was memefied in thousands of images, but the nation’s psyche remained unscathed. We organized million-strong marches of pussycomrades in pussyhats, but the country treated them as clowns. Nothing in our playbook was working; we should’ve just stopped. But when a prog hits a wall, the answer is always to push harder. American Gyno-Stalinism on the ruins of Shagadelic Utopia 

Infinite Power!

Alert the Authorities!

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  • John A. Fleming December 19, 2017, 12:10 PM

    The way it’s supposed to work, when your kids finally set up a household, you give them lots of the family heirlooms. You know, so they can say “Now we have nice things that are for good, and can have our friends over and entertain in style.” Of course, that presupposes that you and your ancestors had the good taste and foresight to buy elegant timeless things.

    The most important decisions are how to distribute the family 2A heirlooms and their accoutrements: fine tools in metal and wood with the cases and supplies, lovingly cared for and much used, living talismans imbued with a lifetime of experience and memories.

    What the little beggars really want is the leftover money. Make sure that goes to your favorite charity that actually accomplishes something worthwhile, instead of just funding the parasites that live off charity endowments.

  • pbird December 19, 2017, 6:28 PM

    I am also sorry for what my children are going to have to sort through. hahhahahahhahahh!!!!!

  • ghostsniper December 19, 2017, 7:19 PM

    Speaking of accumulations, it seems that without even trying most of my stuff falls into just a few categories, of which will be disbursed according to the will I wrote myself and a notarized original is in that 100 year old cookie jar on the top of the kitchen cabinet along with $2000 in cash to pay for the cremation – no funeral, no viewing, no burial, just a sort of private “Burning Man Festival”.

    All of my 2A stuff, some that goes back to my grandpappy, all my computer and music stuff goes to my only son…he better bring a truck.

    All of my tools and extensive collection of exotic woods goes to my brother…he better bring an even bigger truck. Oh yeah, he was always fond of my extensive Lighter, and Keychain collections so he will get those too. Now he needs 2 trucks.

    My wife will keep my mutt Shannon and a small lock box that has family history stuff going back to the 18th century, and all my garments will be donated.

    Whatever is left she is to stack in the garage, open the doors, and put a sign at the end of the driveway that says, “FREE STUFF”, and whatever is left after about a week can be hauled to Spicers Refuse. I tried to make things simple for her.

    There will be no money to disburse so the “grab bag” will be disappointing.
    I’m spending all of it.

  • ghostsniper December 19, 2017, 7:25 PM

    Trump didn’t say “he” grabbed them.
    Listen to it again.
    He said “you” can grab them.
    See how the american communists jump to conclusions?

    Think.
    If you have a top chef preparing prime ribs and lobster tails for supper every night, would you risk everything for a nasty ol’ baloney sando out on the street?

  • Howard Nelson December 19, 2017, 8:16 PM

    Bill Gates installing Windows in Trump’s wall, as well as Gates for the legals to pass through.

    And when the Washington swamp is drained, paradoxically will the morass be less, or will dry rot kudzu overrun all?

  • Ten December 21, 2017, 4:51 AM

    McConnell:

    What has McConnell done to so earn his reputation as a steely, effective insider and a rock-ribbed conservative? In asking this question, we may discover the uselessness of the term “conservative.” It means too many different things to different people. Applied to a politician like McConnell, the term encompasses almost none of the policy positions Trump voters like me would advance. McConnell represents yesterday’s policies and priorities, serving the interests of a donor class that is unaware, even, of what best serves their own long-term interests. They think small.

    Here is an elected official who categorically represents the interests of big corporations at the expense of the common voter.

    Etc. And as the term conservative continues to be widely synonymous with statism, so too does the average “conservative” more and more fulfill the adage about watching out what you want in case you get it. “Conservatives”, with their century of impotence about big government and their constant appeals to DC policy of a kind and flavor palatable to them, are simply statists of a different kind. Consider military industrialism, Wall St and central casino banking, a perpetually untouched trillion dollar welfare budget, the two-cent dollar, and of course, the constant appeal to personal servitude as panacea for the corporatist no-tax profiteering they call “competitiveness”, that same corporatism that literally signs McConnell’s and everybody else’s checks while getting a pass as “capitalism”, “free markets”, and the solution to off-shoring it could not and cannot possibly ever be.

    The “conservative’s” talent? Dropping trousers. It wasn’t bad enough that his vote means nothing – and no, that’s not rhetorical, it’s a documented fact – but give him a slightly different flavor of the same DC problem and magically it’s not the DC problem at all anymore. It’s the central solution to his little game of patriotic servitude.

    On top of having no way to reliably identify themselves because of this, conservatives are largely now a lifestyle group whose main talent is tearing up the homely daughter of a former Democrat president, slagging vegans, dinging alt-righters and Libertarians for their inferior moral purity, and keeping the market for classic V8s safe from alternative energy. Meanwhile “tax reform” is rhetorical cover for not a dime subtracted from unpayable debt and unservicable obligations approaching a quarter quadrillion dollars, a subsidized, the buy-back stock market and its horrific third major bubble in 20 years is financed by wage slavery in support of the boardroom’s profits, and American patriotism is distilled down to endless industrialized interventionism with minimum-wagers hollering at a professional sports organization for not enforcing a spectacularly useless, tired-out ritual among its multi-cultural, millionare performers.

    Oh, conservatives are getting what they wanted, good and hard; it’s their own fecklessness and impotence and meager intellectual heritage. Not one in ten can define the term and not one in a hundred can define the real issues that the actual conservative should have stemmed decades ago. Instead he’ll blithely go about setting up his defeat in the very next election in order to re-assume his role as the bitching malcontent he’s been since at least Wilson, the losing role most familiar and comfortable to him.

    Can’t “win” what you haven’t perpetually lost first; can’t throw the abusive alcoholic out of the house without first having invited it back in.

    Funny, because Progressivism is what, 20% of the voting base? If Conservative had a tenth the stuff on the ball he thinks he has he’d have performed a simple bit of organizing, publicly ensconced some formative, foundational, American values somewhere, and used his majority to simply prevent all the bad things he only thinks he’s on about, endlessly. Instead, give him twenty years – at any point along his miserable trajectory, his father’s, or his grandfather’s – and he’ll be the left, only without some of the psychosis, with little of the entertainment value of its clown posse, and while perpetually signing its checks.

    Hoo-rah. We have met the enemy, and he is us. Even Archie Bunker was brighter than this.

  • ghostsniper December 21, 2017, 11:41 AM

    Well, when they, as a group, cut ALL taxes by at least 90% I will stop referring to them as american communists.

    But only for a week or so.
    All taxation is theft and theft is a crime so all of them should be jailed and taxation should be zero.
    The first asshole that squeals, “How are we going to pay for the roads?”, gets punched right in the face, twice, for shear stupidity.

  • pbird December 21, 2017, 11:44 AM

    Hard to argue with keeping more of your own money. Very hard.